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Old 11-03-2003, 04:48 PM   #1
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New guy....

Hello all. I've visited this site as a guest several times, but finally set up an acct (guess I'm kind of lazy). I'm hoping to get some good advice from some of you experts....

I've got a 45 gallon salt water aquarium with 1 overflow filter (pretty small, probably need another). My tanks been set up for a few months now and right now I have 2 damsels (troopers from the beginning), a purple chromis, a clakii clown, and a yellow tang. I also have about 10 lbs of live rock in there. I have 2 main questions...

1) I've had the live rock about 6-8 weeks and I've only seen a couple small things from the rock. I expected to see a little more by now, so I'm wondering if something is wrong. My tank is a taller 45 g (as opposed to long), so I'm thinking maybe I need better lights??

2) Is there any way to get around the algea growing like crazy in about 24 hours? I could completely clean out my tank 2 or 3 times a week. I've heard it's bad at the beginning...



I'm obviously a beginner, so bare with me. I appreciate any help. Thanks!

Tony
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Old 11-03-2003, 06:15 PM   #2
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The algae bloom is perfectly normal at this stage of the set-up. Don't worry it will subside. You can drive yourself crazy trying to control it, or you can just keep pace with it until it burns itself out. Keep up freah water changes and normal maintainance of your filters. Use RO or DI water for changes and topoffs. Don't over feed. SKim, Skim, Skim.

Howard
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Old 11-03-2003, 06:34 PM   #3
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Welcome to the site!

Take a look at your live rock after the lights have been out for a few hours. I think you will find alot more life on the rock than you realize. If your looking for macro algae or other things well all that might develop on the rock over 6-8 months timeframe.

What is your lighting setup now? BTW I have the exact same tank, they call it a 45 gal show tank, and I use a single 96W powercompact 10K and a pair of 18W PC actinics but soon I hope to upgrade that to a MH, PC combo.

Do you have a skimmer? Do you do water changes? Is your tank just 6-8weeks old or is that just how long you have had the rock?

Do you still have detecable ammonia and nitrite? Have you tested for phosphate?
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Old 11-03-2003, 07:37 PM   #4
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I'll have to go home and look at my lighting setup. It's poor...I do know that. I am currently using the bulb that came with the tank which was used as a freshwater aquarium.

I do not have a skimmer.
I have done few water changes (about 25%).
The tank is about 3 months old....the rock is probably 6 weeks old.
Was the questions "detecTable ammonia and nitrate?" If so, I've gotten my water tested several times and they say it's right on every time. I plan to do it again this weekend.
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Old 11-04-2003, 06:33 PM   #5
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I looked at my light last night and it's a 20 W fresh/salt water bulb. You said you have that same tank...you think I need something more?
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Old 11-04-2003, 06:43 PM   #6
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As far as your lighting goes, it depends on what you want to have in your tank. What corals do you think you will want to keep, if you want to keep any at all.

Also, IMO for your algae problems, a good clean-up crew will probably help. A good variety of snails will help clear away some of your problems. What types of janitorial critters do you currently have? Do you have a deep sand bed, and if not, what is your substrate (nassarius snails are for a tank with DSB).

I know it has already been mentioned, but have you used RO/DI water for your make-up water and top-off water? A lot of times tap water contributes to algae problems.
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Old 11-04-2003, 06:50 PM   #7
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I'd love to get whatever I can out of my live rock. The guy at the local fish store said not to bank on it, but we'll see. What kind of things should I expect (or hope for) to see?

I've got a couple snails that came out of the live rock, but that's about it. Other than that, I don't have anything but fish. You think I should look into getting more snails or other 'janitorial critters'? (great name by the way!)

I've only been using tap water from the start and the water changes.
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Old 11-04-2003, 07:13 PM   #8
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im having a diatom bloom right now too. its normal for a maturing tank, i just cut my lighting cycle in half , check water and skim the hell out of it.
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Old 11-04-2003, 07:14 PM   #9
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Here is a link to an article on lighting. I found it to be very helpful getting a handle on terminology and just to know what is out there in terms of lights. I hope you find it informative.

>>>Lighting the Reef Tank: A Primer for Beginners<<<

Secondly, I would suggest trying to get your hands on some RO/DI water to use for your water changes and top-offs. You should be able to buy some from your LFS, but be sure to ask when and how often they change their filters. You could also look into getting one (RO/DI unit) for your own use. Tap water contains a lot of nasties that don't help with keeping a "healthy" tank (such as silicates and phosphates to name a couple that algae feed on).

Lastly, IMO, a good clean-up crew would really help. Some online vendors have clean-up packages, but I think putting together your own would be better. Some people don't like hermit crabs in their tanks, and some don't mind them. It will vary from person to person. Here is the type of variety I'm talking about: Nassarius (only if you have a DSB), tiger trochus, trochus, cerith, nerite, astrea, peppermint shrimp, cleaner shrimp, small scarlet hermits (optional), and a serpent star (NOT green brittle). I'm unsure on the amounts of each for your sized tank. Maybe someone else can step in with help there.

I hope this will help, and not overwhelm you? You are doing the right thing by asking here, we'll get ya going in the right direction!!

[EDIT = just wondered if you have a skimmer?] sorry if you posted on this already
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Old 11-04-2003, 07:31 PM   #10
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No, I don't have a skimmer.

The article is great and I think the clean up crew is a great idea. I'm going to look into what my local fish store has for those you mentioned...though I don't think they have tons. You think shrimp and star fish will make it without many problems? How about variations of what you said if I can't find the exact kind (different snails, chocolate starfish, etc.)?
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